One day, a few years ago, I woke up with Bell’s Palsy. Bell’s Palsy is not painful, dangerous, or life threatening, and usually goes away as silently as it came. It is more of an aggravation than anything else. One side of the face goes somewhat numb and droops. Mine actually did not droop as much as other cases I've seen, so I was fortunate in that. It is like going to the dentist for a filling, and the Novocain never wearing off…except it affects the whole side of your face.
It is a little more trouble to eat and drink, and your eye lid won’t blink or close normally. When I wore my black eye patch (because my eye would start to hurt from not blinking) I couldn’t resist saying “Arrrrg,” and “Ahoy Matey!” like a pirate would. All in all, it was not that big of a deal, especially compared to so many other medical conditions. Having half of your face work less than perfectly doesn’t prevent you from doing many things.
This has made me think about the Book of Revelation where God says that living half-way doesn’t work for Him. He says He will spit or vomit out of His mouth those who are “lukewarm,” rather than hot or cold. Living as a “half-way Christian” is not something God will tolerate.
I heard an illustration years ago from Methodist evangelist, Tommy Tyson. He said he loved his wife with his whole heart, but when he asked her to marry him, if she had said “yes, but I want two weeks a year where I can go anywhere and do anything with anybody,” he said he would not have married her. Tommy said was not looking for a part-time bride, a half-way bride, or a 50-week out of the year bride.
He was looking for a bride whose heart was completely given over to him.
I think we all see Tommy Tyson’s point. We would not marry our spouses under such conditions either. The far more important truth is that God is also not looking for a part-time Bride. God is not looking for a Sunday morning and Wednesday night Bride, He is looking for a Bride whose heart is completely given over to Him.
The nominalism we see in the Church in the U.S. today is scary. The lack of faithfulness and fervor is frightening. The disdain shown to the Word of God and to godly people and principles, and the elevation of comfort and convenience over mission and ministry, makes me wonder what God thinks of so many who call themselves by His Name.
Perhaps this would be a good time for all of us to examine our own hearts and lives by taking a look at what we say we believe and how we live and see if our hearts and lives are completely His. A half-way working face is no big deal, but a half-way commitment to Jesus is huge deal. Our Lord does not deserve a part-time, half-way Bride. Don’t try half-way living. Jesus is looking for a full-time Bride.